BBC4 goes mad for science

8am: BBC4 will maintain its highbrow credentials with a three-part series on quantum physics, which forms part of its Science You Can't See mini-season. By Leigh Holmwood.

BBC4 has built a reputation for not being afraid to tackle subjects most other channels would run a mile from, but even it may be excelling itself with its latest project - a three-part series on quantum physics.

The highbrow digital channel will screen the series, Atomic, next year as part of a mini-season entitled Science You Can't See.

Atomic, made by independent company Oxford Scientific Films, will look at the story of atoms and how they were first discovered in an "accessible and exciting" way, according to the BBC.

It will be produced by Paul Sen, who was behind BBC4's 2004 series Light Fantastic, which saw historian Simon Schaffer examine the importance and impact of light on life and society.

The season will also feature a documentary with a working title Maths Makes You Mad, about theories so complex they have driven mathematicians insane.

The programme will feature 19th century German mathematician Georg Cantor, who is famous for the theory of continuum hypothesis.

This 90-minute documentary will be produced and presented by David Malone, who previously made Channel 4's Testing God.

"It will look at the dividing line of what the human mind can cope with," said Mr Malone. "These questions echo down the work of a whole range of mathematicians and basically end up killing them."

BBC specialist factual executive producer Martin Davidson said the mini-season would give science programming on BBC4 a boost.

"What we are trying to do is use the reputation BBC4 has for very imaginative ideas-driven programming that has done so well in subjects like history in science," Mr Davidson said. "Science is begging for that."

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Leigh Holmwood

The GuardianTramp

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